Fiscal sponsorship is a contractual relationship that allows a local news or media organization to enact a project or program under the umbrella of Local Media Foundation, and raise philanthropic funds for projects aligned with the LMF mission.

LMF serves as fiscal sponsor for select projects that demonstrate genuine charitable or educational intent, committed leadership, and potential for significant community impact. Sponsored projects often focus on enterprise or investigative reporting on critical community issues such as social justice, poverty, the unhoused, education, or health inequities.

LMF typically operates under a Model C sponsorship, as described in Fiscal Sponsorship -Six Ways to Do It Right, (Study Center Press [1993, 2005, 2019]) by Gregory Colvin and Stephanie Petit. LMF charges an administrative fee as a percentage of all charitable contributions received on behalf of the project. This fee covers costs incurred as a fiscal sponsor, including accounting, processing donations, providing donation acknowledgment, administering the fund, and ensuring legal compliance.

As part of our fiscal sponsorship program, projects receive the following services and benefits:

  • The ability to solicit and receive tax-deductible donations and grants.  
  • The ability to process credit card or check donations, stock transfers, and corporate matching gifts. 
  • Use of the Givebutter platform for crowdsourced donations. 
  • Use of Local Media Foundation’s registered charitable status in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., allowing projects to accept donations from anywhere in the United States. 
  • An annual 990 filing with the IRS for all charitable funds raised.
  • An annual financial audit, as mandated by the IRS.
  • Donor-acknowledgment letters for donations over $250.

In 2020, through our COVID-19 Local News Fund, the Local Media Foundation helped more than 200 local media organizations raise close to $2 million to support their COVID-19 reporting efforts.

We have also provided fiscal sponsorship for projects that:

  • Illuminate national political and social issues through deep local reporting
  • Educate and inform the public on issues important to the citizens of Louisiana
  • Amplify the underrepresented voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people from diverse backgrounds
  • Examine the current state of affairs around diversity, equity and inclusion in Pennsylvania  

If you are interested in learning more about a fiscal sponsorship arrangement with LMF, please fill out and submit our inquiry form.